Let the Beauty of what you Love be what you Do...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April Snow Showers Bring May Flowers?

Well, I'm sure they will... but not just yet. We had some blustery-trying-to snow-in-town type weather yesterday (yes, along with those winds!) It looked like the mountains got a little dusting, so I figured I'd head on up this morning to see what I could see.
Here's the road to the ski basin~

It was a chilly 26 degrees on the mountain when I started out on my little walk, but the exquisite beauty of nature always warms my heart.

Most of these photos were taken walking along a small creek that was in various stages of freezing & thawing.
(Click to enlarge for a better view.)

I had to include the one below, because it made me chuckle to see the bbq grill, something associated with summer, surrounded by a fresh dusting of snow.

12 or so miles down the hill from here, our trees are beginning to "green up" for spring, but at higher elevations, it still looks a lot like winter. 

To see this area in last year's fall glory, click here
An appropriate quote for our Spring weather here in Santa Fe~

"In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours."
  ~Mark Twain

Friday, April 22, 2011

Have Pots, Will Travel.

Due to the Easter holiday, we didn't have class today... but I really needed to get to work on the water scraping & sanding of my pots! Sooooo, I packed them all up yesterday, loaded them in the car, and today I headed over to a friend's house who was so kind as to let me borrow his outdoor space as I have no place to work outside at my place, and it's just not something you can do indoors. (Though I could start scraping & sanding in the parking lot of my apartment complex... but I don't feel like explaining to my neighbors what the heck I'm doing!)

My work station~

It was all going well for the first couple of hours... but as you may or may not know, it is our "windy season" here in Santa Fe, and those winds will come up out of nowhere & blow & blow & blow! It was so calm this morning, I didn't even think to check the weather! This is me trying to work in the wind. (I checked the weather after I got home- winds out of the west @ 28 to 32 mph!) My hair is being held down by my dust mask, but if you look closely you can see how the wind looks to be blowing right into my face ('cause it was!) So, rather than the clay dust settling around me as I scraped, it was literally just getting blown back at me! Arrrrrgh!

So, back into the trunk they go.

Now they are home in my ever shrinking apartment (full of pots & 1/2 finished sculptures) which is getting harder to keep clean & organized! Ah, what we will do in the pursuit of our artistic dreams...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Just Playing...

Did you ever have one of those days when you had a list a mile long of things you needed to get done, but just couldn't fathom doing it? Yeah, today was like that. After a particularly grueling day at work yesterday, I woke this morning not feeling like doing anything "productive," so I put aside all the things that I "needed to do" and just allowed myself to do the only thing I felt like doing~ which was to play in clay. Putting bears aside for the time being, I've decided to start trying to make wolves. Here's the first one~

Which turned into two~

Which turned into three!

Then I tried to go a bit bigger...

Running low on clay, I went hollow & stuffed w/ paper for support.

Eventually it turned into this rather abstract wolf-form. Though it looks a little fox like, and the ears more than a little cat like!

The whole wolf family!

 It's funny~ when doing animal heads I've noticed there is a very fine line between wolf, bear, fox, cat, dog, anteater, seal, cow, pig... you name it. The wolf pup heads have gone through some of those transitions, and I'm sure you can see the resemblance to at least 2 of the animals mentioned! They were really fun to make though, and I really needed that today.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Latest PIP... Pot in Progress!



And before you know it~ a pot!

You've seen the others... I meant to just go in & scrape & sand those pots today, but I never did get to it as I started this new one, and another one that I forgot to take a picture of... it was outside drying.  Out of sight, out of mind you know.

Another class was starting, so I had to get out of there before I was finished... Drat! I tend to get too many things going at once, which makes me dream again of that studio space where I can work all day with no interruptions!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Works in Progress!

Well, I'm happy to report I'm getting into the swing of things in my micaceous pottery class. Each pot/bowl is hand built using the traditional coil method. These are all works in progress-  they still need to be scraped, sanded, burnished, slip applied & fired (whew! that's a lot of steps to go!) But I am so excited about it, I thought I'd post anyhow.
Our first project was to make a bean pot. I had some trouble with shaping on this one, as the way I had learned before was to use a paddle which helps guide the clay into shape. But, we are learning the more traditional way of pot making, in which paddles are not used... only small wooden ribs. That said, I'd say my first effort wasn't too bad.

Our 2nd assignment was bowls. I had a lot of fun with this assignment, and had the time to do a few of them. I'm thinking the bowl below would work well as a rice dish, or some other sort of side dish.

Below left, a decent sized serving bowl~ perhaps for salad.
Below right, same style, only smaller.

Today the fun really began, as I had the day off & it's open studio time... so I could just go in & work on whatever I wanted. And I really wanted to work on symmetry with this new (to me) method. (After all what is a wooden rib but a tiny little paddle!) It actually went quite well, and I decided to go for an enclosed form~ which will later be a lidded pot. There is something about the roundness of this form that I find soooo appealing!

I experimented with different types of handles for the lid... but not quite coming up with something I liked, I thought what the heck... I'll use a bear for a handle! (Ha! Not surprised one bit are you?!) 

It's actually a little large for the form, & I thought about starting over & making it smaller, but then thought nope- I'll just leave it as is... perhaps it will make for an interesting piece. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

More Clay Class Stuff...

Just got back the fired/glazed 2nd big bear project. If you missed it, you can see the process of it being built here. It's a little lumpy & bumpy, but overall I like it. Out of the two larger sculptural forms I've done, this is the only one to make it through 2 firings start to finish, so that in itself is pretty cool. Though I have found I have far less control over the clay when attempting larger/hollow pieces.

Below is my second attempt at the "inside out/outside in" project I was working on for class. I was actually quite happy with this one... it came out much more like my original idea/sketch than the first attempt.

And remember all the work I did on the "magic clay" testing? Down the drain... the underside cracked like crazy during the drying process! Oh well... it was a learning process... at least I know now what not to do. (Now I just have to figure out what to do!)

In other clay class news, I seem to have settled into the fact that from start to finish, it generally takes many weeks to get work back, and I feel I've been a bit more patient in that arena. I also started my Micaceous Clay class last week (see pots on the side bar from the class I took last fall)  but am not much liking the pot I'm working on. :(  Interestingly, I am finding the teaching styles & techniques from my previous instructor to the one I have now vary quite a bit, so it almost feels as if I am starting from scratch, and I'm not at all achieving the results I'd like! It's a "short session" class~ only once a week (all day) for 7 weeks, so I hopefully I'll get the hang of this different method soon. I want to make gorgeous big pots, not asymmetrical, lumpy ones! I'll keep y'all posted.